THV WINSTON CHURCHILL at Sadds Wharf Maldon 1989
WINSTON CHURCHILL Post Maldon refit at Forells, Minorca circa 1993


 Hythe Quay 11/11/2015

Hythe Quay 10/2/2016

35 metres of Maldon's Hythe Quay was made unsafe by the tidal surges of December 2013. The area of damage had been cordoned off. The quay was last reinforced during WW2 in readiness fror the Normandy landings and then renovated in the 1990s.

The Left photo shows work in progress  During this time the quay was restricted to approximately a barge length whilst work was carried out. No publc access to the rest of the quay was permitted.  Craft normally moored at the quay were moved to other sites in the area. Seen here are (l to r) DAWN, REMINDER, THISTLE and HYDROGEN.

On 2nd January 2016 it was noted that the hoardings and restrictions had been removed and the Quay was open for business again.

The photo on the right was taken at the February Spring Tide and flooded the new Quay. Access to the barge gangways was not possible without wellies. Storm Imogen a couple of days earlier may have been the cause for this extra high tide.


SHETLAND TRADER left Wallasea for Ipswich where she picked up a cargo for Scotland.
There are currently no boats on the Barking to Walasea run.
A return to a one boat service as ISLAY TRADER heads off to Amsterdam.
ISLAY TRADER re-commenced deliveries of spoil to Wallasea Jetty
SHETLAND TRADER re-commenced deliveries of spoil to Wallasea Jetty
ISLAY TRADER left Wallasea on 12/12/2014 for Rotterdam. With still around 5Km of tunnel to complete it is expected there will be further shipments made. However the busy days of a five ship service, with often two ships unloading at Wallasea would appear to be over.

ISLAY TRADER is now the only spoil carrier operating on the Barking to Wallasea run. SHETLAND TRADER left Walasea for Leith docks on 05/12/2014.

ARCTICA HAV made her last delivery to Wallasea today and headed off to Bremen, leaving just SHETLAND TRADER and ISLAY TRADER to ship the remaining spoil from the last  two tunneling machines Elizabeth and Victoria. They are due to reach Farringdon early in 2015.

25/10/2014 UPDATE

With crossrail tunnelling now nearly 90% complete and six of the eight tunnelling machines now having completed their task, the fleet of 5 ships serving Wallasea has dropped to 3 vessels this week, with CELTICA HAV and GERMANICA HAV returning to normal trading.

September 2013

Wallasea Island is being transformed from farmland into marshes, lagoons and mudflats to attract birds and other wildlife using 4.5 million tonnes of earth being excavated from a 21km (13 mile) tunnel being bored under London for the crossrail project. The earth will be used to raise the site, which is currently about 2m (7ft) below sea level.

The spoil from the twin-bore tunnels being dug out to link east and west London heads to Wallasea Island via freight trains and then ships to create the new reserve.

A new jetty has been constructed at the eastern end of the island to allow the material to be unloaded.  Several ships a day visit the jetty and the following were seen during a one hour period on 10th September 2013.


ARCTICA HAV departing after discharging her cargo
GERMANICA HAV discharging her cargo at the jetty with tug ELSA alongside
CELTICA HAV arriving loaded with spoil

Latest News on DEFENDER May 1st 2013
Click HERE

The Port of Mistley

25th January 2013

TW Logistics loose their appeal against local planners.


24th January 2013

The future of Mistley Port has recently moved to London's Court of Appeal. The port owners TW Logistics are appealing against the Local Conservation authority and Tendering Council who want to relocate the port and redevelop the existing port area for mixed use.

There has also been a long standing battle between the port owners and local residents over rights of way issues and the erection of fencing along the quay side.


Lady of Avenel on 03/01/2013 after a period on a buoy off Northey Island

Latest arrival at Fullbridge
Formed part of the Queen's Jubilee River Pageant on June 3rd 2012 
Operated by Heritage-Sailing. For more information see www.heritage-sailing.com

The Lives of VIKING SAGA
In 1947 the VIKING SAGA was commissioned by her owners, Eric Albert and Arthur (Sonny) Cardy, and was built by Wallasea Yacht Station Ltd., Wallasea Bay, Essex She is a 50 feet long diesel engined excursion boat. In the 1960s under the ownership of the "Viking Motor Boat Co.", she ran from Clacton beach to visit the pirate radio ships then operating off the Essex coast. Another, running similar trips at that time, was the smaller NEMO 2 built in 1924  and owned by the Nemo Motor Boat Co.
Viking Saga operating off Clacton Beach in the 1960s    © Peter Smith
From 1974 to 1976 she was owned and operated by, The Arrochar Boathiring Company Ltd of  Arrochar, Dumbartonshire, Scotland.
She moved to Tenby in 1976 and operated mainly under the Crockford family until 1998 and then sold to Nigel "Noddy" Cardy, the son of the original commisioner of the boat and bought home to Maldon. Nigel Cardy owns the local company "Landbreach Ltd". She has been restored to a very high standard and is included on the UK National Historic Ships Register.
She has a certificate for 96 passengers and operates short cruises from her home port Maldon and from other local harbours.

VIKING SAGA at Tenby harbour, West Wales where

 she operated local excursions around

Caldey Island. She retained her Maldon registery

during her stay in Wales.

(cica 1994)

VIKING SAGA leaving the pier close to the

    Hythe for a 40 minute excursion down river to    

Osea Island returning via Fullbridge Quay

(circa 2007)

Nemo II was built on the foreshore at Southend-on-Sea in 1928 and based at Brightlingsea. It is believed that the original flush deck seen in the 1960s photographs was modified in the 1970s to give her a raised fo'cstle and a wheelhouse.  She is understood to have taken part in the Dunkirk evacuations under RN Nore command and listed as a 'Liberty Boat'. After the War she reverted back to a pleasure cruiser. She operated off the Clacton foreshore for many years before spending some time from the Southend foreshore. She was under the same ownership as VIKING SAGA for a time whilst at Clacton.
In about 1990 she moved to Barmouth N. Wales and in about 2000 NEMO ll turned up in the River Artro estuary, NW Wales but she grounded and was wrecked on the sands at Llandanwyg, Gwynedd where her remains laid for some time. She has recently (January 2011) been disposed of.
Anyone with any further information please contact us.
Local newspaper report on the demise of NEMO 2 click HERE
For further information on Viking Saga visit their new website HERE
For other views of Viking Saga, Nemo ll and paddle steamer Medway Queen at Clacton-on-Sea, Click HERE for the 1961/2 promotional film on Clacton. (East Anglian Film Archive)

 January 2013
 It is believed that DEFENDER is still in the Falmouth area and rumoured to be up for sale.
Defender left Fullbridge Maldon on Thursday 8th March and arrived in
Falmouth on or before 11th March 


Defender is being refitted in Maldon to take on Somali pirates!

See Maldon Chronicle Report


Note 40mm gun on fo'c'stle - photo taken 02/10/11

compare with photos below showing Defender without gun.




SIGFJEL has been laying a Fulbridge Quay displaying a "FOR SALE" notice
since September 2011. November 2013 - she is now laid up in the Blackwater entrance off the old Sadds wharf.
Defender moves from her berth at Heybridge to Fullbridge, close to Greens Mill




There are reports that Falklands veteran HMS Plymouth could be berthed in

Maldon as a tourist attraction and museum.

The planned berth is at the old Sadds Wharf opposite the Maldon Salt Factory

She was on display in Birkenhead as part of the Warship Preservation Trust collection but since their demise Plymouth is in effect, owned by Mersey Docks and Harbour Board.

MDHB whilst being understanding on the matter, feel her destiny is the breakers torch.

Other bodies have been seeeking a permanent berth for her at Plymouth which has not been forthcoming. Other sites, such as Hayle in Cornwall, have also been muted.


See Shaun Morgan's site seylec.co.uk for more information


Visitors to the Blackwater



Latest arrival in the Blackwater is DEFENDER (Lowestoft) at the berth close to the lock entrance at Heybridge. She is the former “Al Majihad”(B6), a fast attack craft built in Lowestoft by Brooke Marine for the Sultan of Oman's Navy. After 17 years of service she was de-commissioned and gifted back to Lowestoft as a display ship in recognition of the part Lowestoft played in the building of the Sultan of Oman's navy during the 1970s.

It was initially thought that she was going to be used in connection with a local Sea Cadet unit, but now believed to have been sold privately for conversion into a pleasure craft.


Commisioned in July 1977; Displacement 135/153 tons; Dims 37.5 X 6.9 X 2.2 Metres; 2 Paxman Ventura Diesels;

25 knots; Armament 1 OTO Melara 3" gun in front of bridge.


See Joe Capps Lowestoft Pages for some interior photos

Thames barge DECIMA (67 tons) is out board of her - Official No 110055

She is the only sailing example of a large number of Thames sailing barges built by F. G. Fay & Co. of Southampton. She was built in 1899 of steel for E. J. & W Goldsmith of Grays for whom she traded in general cargo work until approximately 1949. She was then sold to Rayfield's of Gravesend and in 1951 was fitted with an engine.

In the 1960s, she was bought by Greenhithe Lighterage Co (Tester Bros). She left trade in 1977 when Dennis Wildish purchased and re-rigged her. Through the late 1970's and early 1980's he sailed her as an auxiliary barge. In 1996, DECIMA was sold to Jeremy Taunton who used her as a houseboat on Faversham creek.

She returned to sailing in early 2003 when she was bought by her current owner, Tim Goldsack, who has extensively re-plated and re-rigged her. She is based at Standard Quay, Faversham and regularly competes in barge matches, having several 1st places to her credit.



CLICK HERE to visit the Seylec site for more photos and information on Defender and Heybridge Basin


MTBs at Maldon in the 1950s
Photo © Neil Sexton
Two MTBs in the cut at the end of Maldon Promenade in the early 1960's, courtesy of Mid-Essex WSS member Neil Sexton.The near boat is believed to be a Fairmile "D", MTB 761, built at Brightlingsea and arrived at Maldon in 1946. She was attached to the Chelmsford Sea Cadets as TS UPHOLDER. She is reported to have been sold on 25th March 1963. The far boat is TS ST VINCENT attached to the Brentwood Sea Cadets. She is also believed to be a Fairmile "D" and formerly MTB 730. She arrived at Maldon in 1950. Geoff Morgan has contacted us and remembers spending many weekends on MTB 761 as a member of the Chelmsford Sea Cadets back in the early '50s. He recalls that she had her engines removed and on one occasion, on a stormy weekend she broke free from her moorings and ended up in the middle of the river! They had to wait for her to be towed back again!
Roger Chapman reports that his late father owned MTB 761 after the Sea cadets

(presumably in 1963) and would be grateful of any further information stories or photos that anyone may have.


Click Here for Essex Chronicle feature and photos of Chelmsford Sea Cadets in the 1950s  (24/5/2012)
Any one with any further information or photos please contact us via the "Contact Us" page.
             Thank you.
Two MTBs at Heybridge near the Crane Blocks (circa 1991) 
Arround 1991 a local 'character' called Belgium George used to live on these old MTBs alongside a couple of barge hulks. When he retired from his job, he didn't want anything electrical around him so moved onto the MTBs and collected wood as a hobby! The MTBs were piled high with bits of boats and old pianos. After he died everything but the barge hulks were burnt.
 The picture is dated by the THV SIREN seen in the background which was off Northey Island around 1991 after coming to the end of it's life with Trinity House. She was in the river at the same time as THV Winston Churchill.
The area today (November 2013) showing the remaining derelict barges
believed to be "Lady Helen" and "Charles Burley", abandoned in the 1960s.

TRAFFIC JAMS at HARWICH    07/01/2015
Photo copyright © David Berg                                                 Photo copyright © David Berg 
To see the arrival at Felixstowe of the World's latest and largest (19,000 TEU) container ship,
Photo copyright © David Berg